This post is inspired by the song "2 Words" by Kanye West featuring Freeway & Mos Def. It's from his illustrious "College Dropout" album. In this song you hear the lyrical exchange of words from all three artist using "two words" to be the center thesis of their verses. If you haven't listened to it yet I highly recommend you give it a listen. I provided the video below. In this post I will explain why mumble rap if not careful could become a fly by night sub genre due to the lack of "Relevancy" & "Debates".
So with all of that being said what two words do I have for mumble rappers? Relevancy and Debate. Both words sound weird when thrown together like this but allow for me to explain. A few weeks ago I alluded to this concept on my radio show and now I will go in depth as to what I meant. Relevance in wiki is defined as "The quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate. So how does the lack of relevance in mumble rap possibly hurt the sub genre and what is it that it needs relevancy to? Well lets compare mumble rap not just to "old school" Hip-Hop but numerous genres and lets see if you can hear/see the connection or lack there of rather.
Soul: Marvin Gaye "What's Going On"
Classic Rock: Bon Jovi "Work For The Working Man"
Old School Hip-Hop: Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five "The Message"
"New" School Hip-Hop: Lupe Fiasco "Little Weapon"
Alternative Rock: Red Jumpsuit Apparatus "Face Down"
R&B: Anthony Hamilton "Coming From Where I'm From"
Country: John Mayer "Waiting For The World To Change"
Do you see the pattern I am trying to make here? In all of these genres of music you definitely had your share of music that made you feel good and want to party but you had a select few that took on the mantel of creating music that went deeper than good times and partying. These artist for whatever reason decided to cover topics that either effect us on a social level or they made songs that we could resonate with on a personal level which isn't easy to do. Being able to report the issues or situations of past or current to a beat and make it catchy enough that you'll want to listen and learn more isn't an easy feat but I feel it must be done to open dialogue and push reform in areas that need changing. This in my opinion balances things out and adds more legitimacy to each genre not to mention it shakes things up so not everyone is sounding the same and doing the same thing.
That concludes part 1 of my segment on "Relevancy". Stayed tuned for part 2.